The Best Plastics for Outdoor Use

Making playground equipment is one major way that plastics are used for outdoor applications. But aside from colorful slides and durable playhouses, plastic is often used in other outdoor recreational equipment you might use every day. Learn more about which plastics for outdoor use are the best for common applications.


Acrylic is mostly known for its amazing clarity and strength — it's one of the most common substitutes for glass, being half as heavy and 17 times as strong. If you go to a museum or zoo, you're most likely looking through either acrylic or polycarbonate sheet to see the incredible specimens inside.

Acrylic sheet retains its clarity throughout its lifetime, being more resistant than other materials to abrasions and yellowing due to weather and sun exposure. The same goes for colored acrylic sheets that might get used for POP displays or fun signs at an arcade or mini golf course — even as they age, they'll remain as vibrant as the day they were installed, as long as they're well-maintained.


High-density polyethylene, or HDPE, is perhaps the most versatile plastic for outdoor use. Many park benches, tables and chairs are now made using HDPE plastic, and playground equipment, in general, is made of HDPE thanks to its sturdiness. HDPE is resistant to mold, mildew and harsh weather conditions that might cause discoloration or unpleasant odors.

Other applications where HDPE can be found include parts of recreational vehicles, camping equipment and sports equipment like skis and basketball hoops. This highly moldable plastic can be shaped and stamped into any shape or design necessary, and it can be dyed all sorts of fun, vibrant colors.

King Starboard®

King Starboard® is a variety of HDPE sheet specifically developed for the marine industry. HDPE is already quite resistant to weather, but King Starboard® is environmentally stabilized to withstand anything Mother Nature throws at it. This is why recreational marine vehicles like jet skis and boats generally have some form of King Starboard® on them, whether it's flooring, cabinetry or handlebars. When it comes to plastics for outdoor use, King Starboard® really does wear the crown!

Continue Learning about Plastics for Outdoor Use

There's plenty more to learn about recreation plastics, and the many other industries where plastic is used every day. If you think the plastics mentioned here sound perfect for your project or application, contact us to ask any questions you may have or receive a custom quote.